Reminiscent of God in a Cup and The Devil’s Cup, this is an inside look into the modern business of making coffee. But rather than a general history, Coffee for One focuses on the revolution that made single serve such a popular way to consume coffee worldwide, and the competition and conflict that got us here. This story features A-list names, corporate intrigue, environmental controversy, and much, much more. For the vast majority of the time humans have consumed coffee, the drink has been brewed in pots or other multi-serving tools; that is, until the last two decades, which saw the rise of the single serve coffee machine. Whether it’s a Keurig or a Nespresso, today a lot of people get their coffee from little plastic individual serving pods. But why? Coffee for One breaks open this story of innovation, profit, and cultural change.
Not only has coffee-drinking gained the status of a morning ritual for most Americans, but admirers of the invigorating beverage are increasingly opting for gourmet variety. Whether at home or in the office, coffee machines are ubiquitous, and their latest version has, in fact, arrived home via office.
In Coffee for One, author and reporter KJ Fallon chronicles the rise of single-serve machines and the fierce competition between companies and entrepreneurs battling for supremacy in offices and in retail stores. While expensive single-serve machines have been around for nearly three decades, the rapid growth in Silicon Valley provided a new and growing market for these appliances.
Keurig was the first to spot and ride the rising office demand for the machine, solving many technical challenges along the way in lowering the cost. Along with Keurig, Nestle, Kraft, and Sara Lee battled to gain the attention of retail customers, each with its own differing strategies. However, in the end it was Keurig that led the market with a unique approach.
Although the spectacular rise of Keurig rivals the success of iPhone device made by Apple, Inc in the last two decades, many still fail to realize the impact the single-serve coffee brewer has had on our lives.
KJ Fallon is a former reporter with Time magazine who currently works as a freelance writer for numerous media outlets and as a nonfiction and fiction book editor.
Single serve remade the marketplace and changed the way people brewed, served, and quaffed the world’s most popular beverage. Now comes KJ Fallon’s beguiling, scrupulous tell-all account of that revolutionary method, how it was born and how it grew into a giant. Coffee for One will alter the way people regard the delicious, vital drink they consume every day—without thinking about all the cut-throat competition that took place before it journeyed from the fields to the labs, from the corner offices to their cups and cartons. This breakthrough book is bound to open many eyes, and please countless palates.”
“Jam-packed with information about beans, brewing, and the shifting coffee consumer lifestyle, this entertaining book kept me turning pages (and sipping) as it updated my way of thinking about coffee.”
“With witty directness, Fallon explores a twist in our unending coffee revolutions: the rise of the single-serve cup, born of technology and the willingness of millions of individuals to pay for the convenience of their own private caffeine bubbles. The consequences for the global economy—and the cultivation of coffee itself—will be profound.”